Lesser Ruins Cover, novel by Author Mark Haber

“This book is a work of art . . . not only hysterical but incredibly moving, to the last page.”

Fernando A. Flores, author of Tears of the Trufflepig

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Lesser Ruins

From the author of Reinhardt's Garden and Saint Sebastian's Abyss comes a breathless new novel of singular obsession. Bereft after the death of his ailing wife, a retired professor has resumed his life's work—a book that will stand as a towering cathedral to Michel de Montaigne, reframing the inventor of the essay for the modern age. The challenge is the litany of intrusions that bar his way—from memories of his past to the nattering of smartphones to his son's relentless desire to make an electronic dance album. As he sifts through the contents of his desk, his thoughts pulsing and receding in a haze of caffeine and grief, ghosts and grievances spill out across the page. From the community college where he toiled in vain to an artists' colony in the Berkshires, from the endless pleasures of coffee to the finer points of Holocaust art, the professor's memories churn with sculptors, poets, painters, and inventors, all obsessed with escaping both mediocrity and themselves. Laced with humor as acrid as it is absurd, Lesser Ruins is a spiraling meditation on ambition, grief, and humanity's ecstatic, agonizing search for meaning through art.

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Literary Hub

Lesser Ruins is a transcendent rumination, a study of, among other things, literature, obsession, and the mind. For all its breathlessness, a silence settled around me as I read it.

Amina Cain, author of A Horse at Night: On Writing
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